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Harris County sees a drop in marriage license applications amid COVID-19 pandemic

Fewer couples are walking down the aisle during the pandemic. The Harris County Clerk's Office says it saw a huge drop in marriage license applications during 2020.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The COVID-19 pandemic made is a little harder for Cupid to get folks down the aisle. The Harris County Clerk's Office noticed a drop in the number of people applying for a marriage license.

"110 percent decrease is what we have seen since the pandemic started," said Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth.

In 2018, the county clerk's office had more than 33,000. In 2019, the number doubled at 31,000, and in 2020, it was at about 15,000.

The county clerk said some contributing factors including closing the office for nearly two months during the shutdown. Once it reopened, couples were only allowed to obtain a marriage license with an appointment only.

"When you are thinking about wedding planning, the marriage license is one piece of the puzzle. And so what we saw (was) individuals were having to put their plans on hold," Hudspeth said.

That was the case for Kaylee Montgomery and her fiancé Dylan Ramsey.

"This is our third wedding date," Montgomery said.

They postponed their wedding twice because of the pandemic. This weekend is their big day.

"Oh, yes. We are so excited. We are ready. 5 years together in April so a long time coming," Montgomery said.

But wedding venues tell us they also saw a drastic drop in the bookings last year.

"We are down at least 75 percent," said Tamara Vogt Smith, owner of Heaven on Earth in Missouri City.

But now with the vaccine rollout and more PPE readily available, many couples are not letting COVID-19 stop their marriage plans.

"We pretty much have appointments booked through the month of May right now," Hudspeth said. 

To make an appointment, visit the website below.

Note: If a document, plat or condo is submitted and does not meet statutory recording requirements and/or is not accompanied by the correct fee, it will not be accepted for recording and a new appointment must be scheduled to resubmit the corrected document/payment in person.

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